Porch fall hurts more than pride


There are some days that simply do not unfold the way you had planned.

Often times, it seems like there are more of those days than not. In the times in which we live, “expect the unexpected” is a perfect phrase for life in general.

A few days ago, I had a whopper of one of those days, where it seemed like everything went wrong. That’s how my unexpected days tend to be. It’s usually not just one thing unexpected that happens. It’s typically a string of negative moments that push me to the brink of calling it quits for the day.

A few days ago, a chain reaction of events led to me ultimately lying face down in my grass, covered in root beer with French fries scattered across the lawn and one of my shoes social distancing from me about six feet to my side.

It had been a bad day. Work was stressful. I coached soccer that evening. On two different occasions that day, my vehicle was stuck, once in mud and once over a large tree limb. I was super hungry because of games and delays, which had me finally arriving back home at approximately 10:15 p.m.

Just before arriving home, I went through the drive-thru at a local fast food restaurant. I will not name the business, because as you will soon realize, its shoddy paper bags were my ultimate demise.

After parking in my driveway, I realized that I have three large bags of fast food and one extra-large cup of root beer. Being “Super Dad,” I wasn’t asking for help. I start to my front door.

I have walked to my front door thousands of times over the last five years. Never had one issue getting from the car to the door. That all changed on this trip.

As I walked up our front stairs, only four steps, I felt a sudden tear in one of the bags. It happened just before I put my foot down on the porch. As I lost control of the ripping bag, I also lost my balance. At that point, I realized I couldn’t worry about the food. I had to save myself.

How many times do we hear about someone missing a step and breaking their foot, ankle or leg? Sometimes people can break all three. That wasn’t happening to me.

I had enough brainpower and athletic ability to spin myself toward the yard and push off the steps with my left foot. I cleared the steps, landing on my front with the lower part of my body hitting our concrete walkway and the upper part of my body in my yard.

The left side of my chest flattened the 32-ounce soft drink, leaving me soaked. The French fries looked like shrapnel after a bomb had exploded. They were all over the yard. 

I laid there flat on my face. I wasn’t hurt too bad, but I was surely embarrassed. I looked up to see if any of the neighbors had happened to be outside that late. Thankfully, they were not.

I managed to pick myself up off the ground, just as my 16-year-old Breeze opened the front door. It was also at that time, that I realized I was missing a shoe.

Breeze said the sight of her old man hobbling around the yard looking for his shoe reminded her of a zombie strolling through a scene on “The Walking Dead.” She said, “Why are all the fries on the ground?”

I was still shaken up, so there was no quick comeback. I just said, “Get your siblings and tell them to come pick up all this food.”

I had a pulled back muscle before the fall, so the next day I felt like I had been hit by a truck. I’ve got to say a big “thank you” to Tina Boshell Wilson for always being a saint and helping me after a wrestling match or now a fall from a porch.

I would also like to thank the majority of my friends who commented on social media that I shouldn’t get drunk enough to fall off my porch. Every single one of them acted surprised when they found out alcohol wasn’t involved. None of them have ever seen me drunk, but even your friends want to assume the worse. 

Take it from me. When you’re having a bad day, always keep your head on a swivel. And don’t take anything for granted. Keep pushing hard until both feet are firmly on the ground in the safety of your own home.


James Phillips is editor and publisher of the Daily Mountain Eagle. He has never been skydiving, because he is not a fan of sudden falls. He may be reached at 205-221-2840 or james.phillips@mountaineagle.com.